Update and a Short Story

I was asked yesterday if I have developed a timeline for my writing since I last wrote about setting goals. I have not, yet, come up with a timeline. I have, however, written another submission to my local newspaper’s collaborative short story. My submission was for Chapter 3 of the story. Here is a link to Chapter 2 of the story: Chapter 2. The only stipulation for submissions was that they had to be within 500 to 650 words.

Here is my submission:

Scott stared back at Johnny in disbelief. Though Scott’s brother was a real pain in the neck most of the time, Scott could not believe that he would ever break the law. His brother had always made sure he and everyone around him upheld the law. Scott still remembers the time his brother called the police because he caught his mother removing the tag from her mattress. The guys at the police station teased Scott’s father about that for weeks.

“Did you get a good look at the body in the back of the truck?” Scott asked while trying to make sense of the situation.

“Well, the guy looked like he could have been in his forties or fifties, was kinda tall and thin, and had a beard,” said Johnny. “Oh, and he also had a big mark on his face above his left eye.”

“That’s the guy who killed Dad,” answered Scott.

For the past ten years, that face haunted Scott’s dreams. He remembers first seeing him during the trial, thoughts of revenge filling his mind even at eight year of age. Scott remembers the numbness he felt as the judge announced the sentence. His brother, meanwhile, seemed to lose his faith in justice, if only for a second.

As they reached Mid-State Trail, the rain started to fall, slowly at first and then steadily breaking through the trees. “OK, we need a plan and standing in this rain getting soaked isn’t helping me think of one,” said Scott. “I know of a cabin up the road that we can stay in for the night.”

Just as Scott finished that sentence there was a large crack of lightning and it started to pour. The two boys broke into a sprint, Johnny trailing closely behind. After five minutes of running through the forest, tripping over branches and being smacked in the face by low tree branches, they arrived at the old log cabin which Scott had seen many times on his hikes with his brother in Rothrock State Forest.

From the looks of it, the little cabin had not seen many visitors in the past few decades. In fact, Johnny thought to himself that the only reason the cabin was still standing was because it lacked the energy to fall over. It did, however, have what seemed to be a solid roof. And, from the looks of it, the cabin also had two old military cots, which after the five minute sprint was a much better option to Johnny than sleeping on a wet rock somewhere in the forest.

Scott and Johnny first tried the front door knob, hoping the long forgotten owners of the cabin were also careless. The door knob did not budge, so they decided to enter the cabin through one of the windows, which Johnny accomplished with a solid kick to the rotted window frame.

Entering the cabin, Scott and Johnny first noticed the smell, which was like a combination of wet dog and overcooked earthworms. The next thing they realized was that while you should never judge a book by its cover, it was in fact perfectly fine to judge a cabin by its exterior.

“Well, I don’t think this place will appear ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’, but at least it will keep us dry,” said Scott. “I’m too tired to think tonight. Our plan can wait until tomorrow.”

As they drifted to sleep Johnny added, “There is no way anyone would find us out here anyhow.” Neither boy had much trouble falling to sleep, serenaded by the sound of gentle rainfall on the cabin’s tin roof.

The boys were awakened by a loud knock on the door, which shook the walls of the old cabin, flinging an old picture of Beaver Stadium to the cabin floor. “Police. You are in great danger. Open up!”

3 thoughts on “Update and a Short Story

  1. That is such a cool contest. When do you find out who wins this round? Do you get any kind of feedback other than the name of who wins?

    Good luck.

    And, totally unrelated. I had to hunt for the link to Chapter 2. On the computer I’m at here at work the link’s are virtually the same color as the test. I’ll have to check from home to see if it is just this computer.

  2. Sorry about the link. That is one of the problems with using a template, I don’t have control over the colors, etc. I can, however, spell out the link so it is more visible.

    The contest is pretty cool and it keeps me writing. They did the same type of contest last year and I was chosen twice. They will probably pick a winner and notify them sometime today. The winning chapter will be printed in the Sunday newspaper and posted online. I can link to it here.

    Unfortunately, they don’t give any feedback. That would be nice.

  3. I think most of the link problem was the monitor settings on the computer I was using yesterday. It is a little easier to see the different colors today.

    Do you submit your stories to other places? It seems like if you have been published there twice already, it might be time to start testing some other waters.

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